The NBA and the rest of the world seemingly stopped on January 26th, when news broke that a helicopter carrying nine members crashed into the hills in Calabasas, California. Among those included in the fatal accident, was Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers were on a flight back from Philadelphia following their match-up with the 76ers when the news broke.
It was later announced in a statement from the NBA that the Lakers would postpone their match-up with the Los Angeles Clippers and would not return to action until Friday the 31st.
When the Lakers returned to the court, there was an emotional tribute honoring Bryant, from vigils held outside Staples Center, the singing of Amazing Grace by Usher, a wonderful performance by cellist Ben Hong, two court side seats draped in both his number 24 jersey and daughter Gianna’s number two jersey with roses underneath where both would sit during Lakers games, and then a heartfelt speech from current Laker LeBron James.
— Basketball Society (@bbsociety_) February 1, 2020
In this episode of the Lakers Lair, host Randy King is joined by resident Lakers fan Matt Semione to discuss the impact Bryant had not only their lives but the worlds as well.
“He was truly an icon for everyone, not just basketball fans. His sheer grit and determination to outwork everyone else and you see that with a couple of players today” – Matt Semione
“His global ambassadorship of the game, being popular in China and the Philippines; he was the most popular basketball player outside of Michael Jordan that we have ever seen, globally”. – Randy King
After sharing their memories about Bryant, King and Semione would go on to answer and discuss several more questions revolving around the Lakers such as:
- Did the Lakers make a mistake missing out on Andre Iguodala?
- With the Lakers making no moves at the trade deadline, who might be available for them to acquire in the buyout market or through free agency?
- What will be the toughest stretch for the Lakers after the All-Star break?